“The Octagonal Stairway”

By Thor

Virginia’s high-concept grinders PIG DESTROYER are back with an EP called “The Octagonal Stairway”--a six track deluge of piss and vinegar.

I first came across this band back in 2001 when their breakthrough album “Prowler In the Yard” found its way into my CD player and shocked my senses. Though I’ve never quite been blown away to that extent by any of their subsequent albums, I enjoyed them all and remain a huge fan of what they do. The band is unpredictable and fluid in their approach which commands respect while it can also render their output challenging at times.

So what about “The Octagonal Stairway”? For the most part, it fucking slays, it’s really that simple. The first three songs comprise my favorite PIG DESTROYER material since “PITY”. They are stripped down, relatively conventional and cut right to the chase. These songs bury the needle when it comes to aggression, heaviness and raw rage. Blast beats snap into nasty, bone-flattening grooves, then whip into thrashy 4/4 mosh parts and back again with not a wasted contemplative second to be had.

The final three songs are sample-laden soundscapes that are compelling, well produced and feel integral and relatively concise. However, with the EP coming in at a scant six tracks, I’d have preferred more than just three actual songs since the three that are here are exceptional. That’s my only beef. I just wish this was longer.
The production showcased on “The Octagonal Stairway” is full and organic, a far cry from the ear-shattering treble on “PITY” all those years ago. Having a bassist in tow for the last seven years helps with that, but after a couple of decades making albums, it’s also clear that these guys have mastered how to capture what they do live in a studio setting.

PIG DESTROYER’s “The Octagonal Stairway” should appeal to fans of grindcore, power violence and thrash metal across the board. Well, at least the first half of the album will…